"Haven't you read the Scriptures?" Jesus replied. "They record that from the beginning 'God made them male and female.' And he said, "This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one." — Matthew 19:4-5
LeRoy Sullivan is the pastor of the Bread of Life Church, a small African-American congregation in Kansas City, Kansas. When he began to notice in his church that many couples were cohabiting, he decided he needed to do something about it.
From the pulpit, Sullivan made a strong, biblical case for marriage. Living together without being married, he told his flock, "is not part of God's plan. You need to marry or separate."
Most of the couples listened and tied the knot. But one couple resisted his efforts — at least, the man did. His girlfriend told the pastor, "Sam won't marry me, and he won't move out." That's when Pastor Sullivan decided to act.
One night he showed up on the couple's doorstep unannounced. "Hi, Pastor, what are you doing here?" Sam greeted him.
"Lucinda tells me you won't marry her and won't move out either," the pastor responded. "Now, that's not right." So glancing around the living room, Sullivan commented, "That looks like the most comfortable chair. I'm going to sit here until you move out. Now where's the TV remote?"
Dumbfounded, Sam asked, "Pastor, you're not really going to sit there all night, are you?"
"Of course not," Sullivan cheerfully responded. "At midnight, Elder Jones is relieving me!"
Sam moved out that night.*
Do you know someone like this couple in your church? Perhaps you could forward this story to them. I'm sure they'll get the message and you won't have to show up on their doorstep and ask, "Where's the remote?"
Plus, you'll be doing them a big favor. Maranatha!
*Adapted from Colson, "How Now Shall We Live? Devotional," October 17.